tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN June 12, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
kids. kelly wallace, nice to see you. >> have a great afternoon. time for jake tapper to pick it up with "the lead." have a great day. it's almost as if we've been ignoring chest pains, hoping that they'd go away and now iraq is a full-blown heart attack. i'm jake tapper. this is the world lead. two 1/2 years after the last u.s. combat troops left iraq, the country is in chaos. city falls to militants, so extreme al qaeda kicked them out. will the u.s. get involved in iraq again? the politics lead. hillary clinton getting into it with an npr host who asked if she flip-flopped on gay marriage out of political convenience. and mass shootings this week, last week, the week before that. they are dominating headlines but are they really on the rise? the numbers may surprise you.
good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead". i'm jake tapper. we're going to begin with our world lead. 2 1/2 years ago when the last troops were pulling out of iraq, president obama hailed it as a moment of success. >> we're leaving behind a sovereign and self-reliant iraq with a representative government elected by its people. this is an extraordinary achievement. nearly nine years in the making. >> all right. so how are things going with the extraordinary achievement, that sovereign, stable, self-reliant iraq, the one that the president was talking about? [ gunfire ] not so good, it turns out. islamic extremists with the group isis have taken control of the second largest city and now they are vowing to move on
baghdad. the forces are retaliating, carrying out air strikes in an area where they believe the militants are is based. is it going to be enough to stop them? president obama indicated that the u.s. is ready to get involved, once again, telling reporters that iraq will need more help and he's not ruled out any action. but then a senior administration official attempted to clarify that the president is not considering boots on the ground. iraq's prime minister practically begged the u.s. to carry out air strikes on extremists but the white house said no. what is the u.s. responsibility? i seem to remember another president who promised way back in 2003 that the u.s. would leave behind a better iraq than the one it invaded. >> and we will stand with the new leaders of iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the iraqi people. our coalition will stay until our work is done.
and then we will leave and we will leave behind a free iraq. >> isn't it pretty to think so? keep in mind, 4,486 servicemen and women, not to mention countless innocent iraqi civilians died in that war and now the country is spiralling out of control. they are called the islamic state in iraq and syria, or isis, they have pockets all over those countries. the u.s. has labeled isis as a terrorist group. it was affiliated with al qaeda but in february they decided to cut ties, apparently because isis was too hardcore. let's bring in our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. >> it's partly tactics but partly jihadi politics.
tactics because of the beheadings that alienate the local population and politics because the leader would not play by al qaeda leader's rules. so they split. but really for the u.s. to split means nothing. the groups are equally brutal and a magnet for foreign fighters for who the u.s. officials worry will return home to carry out terror attacks well beyond iraq. on the ground and from the air, the iraqi security forces in a desperate attempt to retake northern cities now under the control of islamic militants. many iraqi forces are not proving up to the task. isis fighters captured iraqi police through the streets. and in the oil rich northern city, kurdish militants
abandoned by the iraqi army. nearly three years after he ordered u.s. troops obama from iraq, today president obama acknowledged the country needs more american help. >> it's going to need more help from us and from the international community. my team is working around the clock to identify how connect provide the most effective assistance to them. i don't rule out anything. >> what that new assistance will be is unclear. iraq has asked for u.s. air strikes. they are looking for other options other than training and equipping iraq security forces. on capitol hill, some lawmakers could barely contain their anger at the administration's response so far. >> the president should get rid of his entire national security team, replace it, including the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and bring in general petraeus and king and others who
want the conflict in iraq, including ambassador and turn this around. >> reporter: an estimated 500,000 have fled as the militants moved in, seeking safer ground in kurdish-controlled areas. former commander admiral bill fallon says any lasting solution lies with nal maliki bringing i kurds to fight for their country. >> they have a lot of equipment and i believe they are pretty well-trained by the allies and nato before we left. they need to get the political will. >> al maliki, however, has been a massively iraqi leader, alienating sunnis right into the hands of isis. iraq needs a true unity government and al maliki might have to go for that to happening
but peace will take time and they need an urgent response or i've talked to a number of officials who are seriously concerned or this country could be lost. >> the city of mosul freed more than 1,000 prisoners from the city jail. and our senior international correspondent arwa damon is standing by in the city of irbil. what are you learning? >> reporter: well, the main road away from mosul, a few line of vehicles, people fleeing the city of mosul. not necessarily because they were fleeing isis. they were saying that the fighters were there but they
weren't really bothering anybody. they were fleeing because of the fear of the government air strikes. what was also interesting was kurdish fighters that have gone in and tried to prevent isis from moving forward and recovering some of those vehicles and driving them into the kurdish northern territory. people going back, jake, saying that they believed isis when they said that they could come back and live in peace and they wouldn't be executing anybody and this is really at the core of it, about secretatarian poli that exists here and they believe it's a battle between the sunni and shiite politics and they don't want to be
subjected to the kind of alienation to the kind of all alienation that they've been feeling from the government. >> arwa, thank you. stay safe. they are watching the hard-fought games of the american military begin to unravel. let's bring in a member of the foreign house committee on foreign affairs. he's flown refueling and reconnaissance missions in iraq and afghanistan. also joining him, a military police captain in the hawaii national guard. thank you both for being here. before we get to the policy, there must be emotions that you both feel watching this because you have friends who died fighting for iraq. what is that like? >> it's painful. i served in the medical unit during deployment in 2005 and was faced on a daily basis with
that most harsh costs of war, both of people who i knew and who i served with, who i spoke about recently during memorial day and people who were from all over the country, from all different branches of service. now to see what is happening there causes me to remember their service and their sacrifice. >> very painful, i would assume. >> it's heartbreaking. almost 5,000 people gave their lives to bring iraq freedom. and i thought after the surge, we were there. there were a lot of games that had been had and to watch it all collapse, i heard the air base i was stationed at is being evacuated and i spent a lot of time there and it hurts. this is very sad. very sad for the people of iraq and for those that sacrifice for them. >> congresswoman, you do not support the air strikes that the iraqis are asking for. do we not have some obligation to help these people after the united states went in there and
invaded and took out their government and created this chaos? >> i think we've got to really understand what is happening here. we've got to do a couple of things. we've got to understand what is happening here and then we've got to take a very clear-eyed look at seeing what impact these air strikes can make on the situation on the ground. the situation being, this is a religious civil war between two muslim fashions, the sunni and the shiite. this is largely coming about because of the i vanvasion in i. maliki had an opportunity to create a unity government bringing together the sunni and shiite of the country and bring about peace. that did not occur. instead, you have a government that's been oppressing the sunni and iraqi people and it's brought this about where off continuing battle between the sunnis and shiites.
>> i know you support air strikes. a lot of people are skeptical about that. they don't know if that would be effective or potential presence for the u.s. to be on the ground to be effective and it seems like they are afraid of getting dragged down into a civil war that the united states can't really play a constructive role in. >> let's be clear, the full withdraw in 2011 was a big mistake. we would not be facing this situation. our air strikes are going to be the panacea? i don't know. but we're seeing what happens when nothing occurs. you're going to have baghdad, almost the size of chicago in flames. you're going to have iraq in flames. imagine what that is going to do to the middle east. if there's an opportunity to kill the bad guys, there's a reason they want air strikes because they think it will be effective. there's a reason they are doing air strikes because it's killing bad guys. i think we have an obligation to come in and help push back this enemy that is creeping in. also, from inaction in syria, this is where they have been able to plan and organize this
in syria. >> i want to jump in. you have to define, who are the bad guys? >> isis. >> it's easy to say, let's go in and get the bad guys. the united states goes and takes action there on behalf of the iraqi government, maliki, you've got iran coming in and saying we're going to stand with maliki and now we're aligning ourselves with iran and if we do air strikes, becoming de-facto air force for them or you have the sunni islamic terrorist who is are fighting. so who are you deciding who are the bad guys and the perception to the iraqi people would not be that the united states is coming to fight for us because they are part of this divided country. >> well, i disagree. because the iraqi people and the government has asked for the united states' help. what we're saying is since we don't fully grasp the situation, let the government fall. this is not new either. this started in january. >> right. >> and we're just learning about it today because it's exploding.
>> it is, of course, very complicated. >> of course. >> isis, as opposed to the syrian government, and many people wanted strikes against assad. isis wanted strikes against assad, too. if there's ever been a condition for blow back -- and i'm not advocating anything -- this would be it. you don't know who you're rooting against. >> isis has taken advantage of the situation in syria. whenever you have lawlessness or craziness, they were taking advantage of that. are they opposed to assad? sure. they don't see national boundaries. now they are moving into iraq. we can sit back and say, gee, who is the bad guy or we can have them take the land back and
give an opportunity for more reconciliation. >> congressman, i want to give you the last word. many are word worried about isis, not just there in iraq but to come here to the united states. is it better to deal with it there than later on? >> again, you have to define who we are fighting against. you're talking about iraq, syria, you have many different complicated things going on that ultimately result in two civil wars that are happening. if we are -- which i do not advocate for getting involved in either iraq or syria. if we're concerned about a direct threat to the united states or our interests from isis or other terrorist fashions anywhere else in the world, we should focus our resources on those direct threats and take them out where they are not getting mired into other civil wars which would cost hundreds and billions of more dollars and
lives. >> two people with skin in the game, who actually know what they are talking about, even though they completely disagree on everything. thank you for your service and thank you for coming in. >> thank you. it's a question so many have asked since the day he disappeared, why did private bowe bergdahl walk away from his base? new letters were obtained by "the daily beast" about why he did it. and hillary clinton scolded an interview after she refused to answer one question. our politics lead, coming up. all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one.
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where he will continue his rehabilitation. it's unclear how long bergdahl will stay there, if he will see his family, if he's aware of the controversy spurred by his relief. but in letters sent to his family while in captivity, he seems to acknowledge the curious situation surrounding his disappearance. "the daily beast" has published two letters from bergdahl, one from 2012 and one from 2013. in the 2013 letter bergdahl writes, if this letter makes it to the usa, tell those involved in the vision that there are more sides to the situation and original plans never came clear. please tell d.c. to wait for all evidence to come in. the authenticity has been verified by u.s. and western officials. the letters have several grammatical errors and the handwriting is different from one letter to the other but, if true, it provides more insight
into bergdahl while being held captive. let's go to david rohad who was kidnapped and was held for seven months before he bravely escaped. he's an investigator for reuters. david, good to see you. what do you make of these letters? do you relate to them at all? >> i think they are letters that he wrote. "the daily beast" got these from the taliban. so i think this is what he tried to write to his parents. i wrote a letter to my family that got out. the key thing here is that bergdahl is writing this letter under duress. they are making copies of the letter. you're not going to be able to speak freely. i don't think he was able to speak freely here. so this is a clue why he left the base. >> what kind of things did you leave out because you knew you were being watched?
>> i didn't want to say anything that would endanger anyone. the taliban was convinced that i was a spy. i couldn't explain why i went to this interview with a taliban commander and he abducted me when i came to meet with him. i wasn't going to go into that. i think it's very clear bergdahl wrote these letters. they were letters that bergdahl's family wrote to him that the taliban made copies of and gave to the daily beast. again, these being very careful about what he says here. >> let me read another part of one of these letters. there are risks that are forced to be taken. however, it was made clear that clear-minded understanding from leadership was lacking, if not nonexistent. the conditions were bad and looked to be getting worse for the men that were actually the ones risking their lives from attack as well as afghans. does that surprise you at all? >> again, it's hard to know what
that actually means in full context or whatever. he seems to be saying that he was upset with the leadership in his unit. you know, i know this isn't a great headline but it's just too early to say whether that is clear. he might have been trying to explain things to his parents in a sense and give them this letter. because you're in this crazy situation and you never know if you're going to make it home or not. >> of course, david, you were not released. you escaped. bergdahl escaped possibly more than once and he was recaptured. thankfully that didn't happen to you. do you think if he wasn't a member of the military they might have killed him by now? >> i think that as u.s. troops withdrew or withdraw from
afghanistan, there would be an impatience to make this deal with bergdahl or not and if there wasn't a deal, they might have killed him. it's very labor intensive to have guards safeguard him, to feed him. they complained after seven months with me, that they held me all this time but couldn't get this huge ransom that they wanted from me. i do think there was a time limit in terms of how long they would tell them if the u.s. was leaving afghanistan and there was no deal in sight. >> obviously, you and bowe bergdahl, very different circumstances, very different people. but what does he have ahead of him now that he's coming back to the united states and is going to try to emerge in society? it must be unbelievably difficult. >> you know, it's very challenging. to be honest, jake, you've done stories about this. i understand the anger of the soldiers in his unit and you don't leave your post, you don't
put others in danger. he has to answer the questions about why he did that but i guarantee you, whatever caused him to leave that day, he's regretted it every day for the last five years and he'll regret it for the rest of his life. i still regret going to this interview that got me kidnapped and i always will and so it is going to be an enormously difficult transition and a very, very slow and sad return for him in many ways. >> we're glad that you are fine and say hello to your wife for me. david rohde, thank you so much. when we come back a. humanitarian crisis right here in the united states. tens and thousands of children held on the border. how did these kids, some of them barely older than toddlers, get here on their own.
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salvador, they are crossing into texas, shoulder-to-shoulder, threatened with violence and sexual abuse, that's the reality for many of these children. the border protection commissioner said the complaints against the border patrol agents is being investigated and jay johnson earlier today also admitted that these weigh stations are not equipped to handle the current problem. >> illegal migration is not safe. illegal migration is not safe. a processing center is no place for your child. >> texas attorney general greg abbott, who was also running to secede him said that the fed is spending too much time on the kids, we are concerned that federal authorities are not able to stop cross-border criminal
activity. cnn's martin savidge is about five miles from the mexican border. martin, you rode along today with the border patrol agents along the front lines. >> reporter: yes, jake. i have covered a lot of stories when it comes to the border control and u.s. relations. i have never covered a story quite like this one. they have said, you know, there's a reason for that. we've never seen anything like this. here's what we found. the u.s. and texas have spent decades and billions defending the borders to keep out drug cartels, bad guys, and people without permission. but despite all that, they now seem powerless to stop the most recent illegal tide. children. >> here we go. >> reporter: we pick up their footprints in the sandy soil. >> you can see some of these are a lot smaller than us. so it's either going to be females or kids. >> reporter: i'm with a u.s. border patrol agent who doesn't want to be seen for security
reasons. >> welcome to the border. >> reporter: the banks of the rio grand are littered with abandoned flotation devices. >> you have a pair of pants which obviously belongs to a child. >> reporter: the children were here. in recent months, border agents have seen a surge of women and children who have made the dangerous trek from central america. what they haven't seen before is the sheer number of unaccompanied children, barely older than toddlers. >> i've seen as young as 4, i've heard them as young as 2. >> reporter: the u.s. border protection system was designed mainly to handle adults but local agents said it was never intended to be a daycare. this shows massive overcrowding in just one border patrol station. the situation one sheriff compared to the scenes of human desperation that followed hurricane katrina.
to deal with this situation each day, the c-130 loads the children and flies them off to larger facilities, often out of state. more federal help is said to be on the way. local border agents say they need it. >> would you describe it as a crises? >> i would say so. >> reporter: the experts will tell you, they do a lot of training but when it comes to having to deal with kids at the age of 4 coming at them across the border, that's where they use some other training most of them have. that's their parental skills. they say that there is nothing in their official background that got them ready for what they are seeing now, jake. >> it's just a bizarre and he t heart-wrenching story. republicans are blasting the obama administration saying that they are causing this influx of children.
do they have a case to make? >> reporter: well, there's a whole myriad of reasons. remember, it's central americans coming up predominantly and it appears, at least according to the border agents, that there's a rumor circulating that now is the time to come to america and they say with the children, it appears that many of them, their parents are already here illegally in the u.s. and they are now coming this way to join them believing that the immigration law is going to change or get tougher and either way they want to be reunited. jake? >> thank you, martin. coming up, high praise from rick perry, complementing hillary clinton's career from first lady to secretary of state. what gives? plus, this has become the norm. those words from mr. obama after the most recent shooting.
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welcome back to "the lead." the politics lead right now, don't spit up your herbal tea but hillary clinton and npr's larry gross got into it on the air. he asked whether personal feelings or politics had caused her to have one position on it and then later change her position on it. clinton pushed back. that's when things got a little bit uncomfortable. >> so that's one for you changed your mind. >> you know, i have to say, i think you are being very persistent but you are playing with my words and playing with what is such an important issue. >> i'm just trying to make sure i understand. >> no, i don't think you are trying to clarify. i think you're saying i used to be opposed and now i'm in favor and i did it for political reasons and that is flat wrong. >> let's bring in political analyst and writer for "po
"politico." maggie, how is the book rollout going? >> overall it's gone well. there have been two moments that have not gone well. there was an interview on abc where she talked about how she was dead broke and she and her husband had to put together resources to amass houses. today there was the audio that you played and when you combine them together, she sounds quite not ready for primetime in these moments when she has to get answers. the line on gay marriage was a legitimate one. she has not said why she changed her position since she left the state department and the question on dead broke, a lot of reporters wonder if she was prepped sufficiently. that's going to come up over and over again, too. >> i might add, benghazi. bob, in this exchange with terry gross, who is, i should say, a treasure in american journalism
today, the secretary of state hillary clinton didn't want to acknowledge that politics played any role and she didn't want to acknowledge that she had been wrong. that's what i took out of it. what did you think? >> i think that's right, jake. i think we're seeing a politician who, for a long time, has been able to operate and hover above the national political scene and not have to engage with reporters in this way. and i think maggie is right. questions about her preparation are evident now in the way she handled the exchange, especially in a program like fresh air where it's low key and it should be a comfortable zone for her and for her to so easily get gross get under her skin, it's revealing as she heads towards a possible campaign. >> let's talk about what is going on with the republican party. bob, cnn caught up with david brat, the college professor who unseated the house majority in a primary. mr. brat saying yesterday to our friend chuck todd that he didn't
have policy decisions on a whole host of issues and today said he wasn't interested in chatting. take a listen. >> i'm going to take a few days with my family and let it all soak in and enjoy it and thank you all for being here. i apologize that i don't have enough time to spend with everybody. but thanks and that's it for today. i've got to go get my haircut. >> got to get my haircut. i'm going to have to remember that for the future. bob, speaking of ready for primetime, is professor brat ready for primetime? >> no. and i've spoken with him over the last few months. he's a political amateur and had a very small campaign staff. yet, as much as we see in that exchange, someone who is not ready for a campaign under national scrutiny, i spoke to nrcc chairman greg walden and he said that the national party will send down staff and money to try to boost him in that competitive perhaps district. >> obviously there's a big house
leadership race going on. house majority leader eric cantor will soon be former house majority leader and there's a big race going on right now. how much can the tea party actually take control of the gop house leadership? obviously speaker boehner accepted. >> i'm going to ask bob to please correct me if i'm wrong here. i'm stepping on his area just a bit. but i do think that this is very problematic for speaker boehner. i think that you more the see -- mccarthy is in a good position to -- >> not a tea partyier? >> not a tea partier. however, to the extent that boehner has had trouble controlling his caucus the whole time, it's very difficult for him. i think that was sort of set in stone. look, brat was not running as a tea party candidate. he said that in his own speech, right? but the tea party has claimed him as their own. that's not good for boehner.
>> what is going to happen, bob? >> mccarthy was the chief recruiter for house republicans and he's a member of the party establishment and leadership. mccarthy is poised right now to be the next majority leader. the race becomes for whip. we have steve who shares the republican committee and is the best chance to get someone into the top three of leadership but he has a crowd of competition and a lot of people asked if they would like to whip iowa in the race. >> he did send my staff a mardi gras cake. >> a king cake. >> that's right. >> bob, maggie, thank you. appreciate it. one violent mass shooting and then another violent mass shooting. are these mass killings on the rise? my next guest says no and he has numbers to prove it. plus, tear gas, injuries,
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welcome back to "the lead." in the past week alone, the country has been horrified by the images on our televisions, a 15-year-old high schooler shooting a classmate to death, no one seems to know why. two officers killed in vegas by some sick husband and wife team. a 26-year-old taking inspiration from columbine, killing a student on a seattle college campus. it leaves the nation and the president asking why. the president calls it a one-day story and suggests that mass shootings are on the rise. are they? well, one professor and criminalogist suggests no. he found that these incidents on a chart look like an ekg, up and down, a heartbeat, not a steady rise. does that surprise you? and joining me now is the man who crunched these numbers, james allen fox, professor of
criminology. it's not an increasing trend. could there have been a spike in the last two years? >> sure there could be but there was a spike in the early 2000s and 2005 and usually spikes are followed by -- we shouldn't jump to conclusions. barack obama has called gun violence the new normal. i should remind you, however, bill clinton once said, we should focus on trend lines, not headlines. and the trend line here is flat, even while the population in this country has grown. >> so you're not saying that this is something that we shouldn't be concerned with, you're just saying maybe we should have been as concerned years ago as we seem to be
today? >> right. obviously it's a horrific event when 4, 5, 12 people are gunned down and we should be trying to deal with situations like that but let's not think that this is an epidemic. >> we hear so much about shooters, such as the one on the college campus in seattle being inspired by the columbine shootings. was there a jump in shootings shortly after columbine? >> there was a decline in shootings after columbine. america was obsessed with 9/11 and there was a period of time when there was no multiple victim shootings in schools. prior to columbine, actually, there was a whole stream of shootings about six mass shootings at schools for a period of three or four years. so there are the -- it's a random process when sometimes things cluster together and then sometimes there's a lull and we talk about other factors and other issues in america. >> there was additional gun control in the o'90s and then
some of that has expired since then. did that have in effect one way or the other on these shootings? >> no. i did measure the impact of the assault weapons ban that we had for a period of time in 1994 on mass shootings eight and the impact was negligable and indeed, most mass murders don't use assault weapons. they use semiautomatic handguns. that's the most common weapon but not what would be declared an assault weapon and banned. at the same time, it's still a good idea that we limit the size of magazines. the extent to which they have to reload seems to intervene in their way, in their paddle. >> to stop these, what does society need to do? >> if you want to stop them, there are things that we should
do but i don't think we'll eliminate them. are we going to round up and arrest everyone that looks a little bizarre or wears black clothing or has a scary facebook page? i doubt it. you see, we treasure or personal freedoms in america and, unfortunately, occasional mass shootings, as horrific as they are, is one of the prices that we pay for the freedoms that we -- that we enjoy. i don't want to minimize the pain and suffering of the victims and their families and the communities. they are horrific. but it's not an epidemic and let's not go in a knee-jerk way and cage society for something that happens very rarely. >> james alan fox, thank you. coming up next, it was supposed to be a beautiful day for the beautiful game. the start of the world cup in soccer's spiritual team. but instead brazilians tackle
the police. why are they so angry? ♪ [ girl ] my dad, he makes underwater fans that are powered by the moon. ♪ he can print amazing things, right from his computer. [ whirring ] [ train whistle blows ] he makes trains that are friends with trees. [ train whistle blows ] my dad works at ge. ♪ type 2 diabetes effects millions of us. and for many, it's a struggle to keep your a1c down. so imagine -- what if there was a new class of medicine that works differently to lower blood sugar? imagine...loving your numbers. introducing once-daily invokana®. it's the first of a new kind of prescription medicine that's used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. invokana® is a once-daily pill
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comcast business built for business. turning to the sports lead. if soccer is a religion, then the world cup is its mecca. how else would you explain that parents everywhere would name their kids diego all because of this guy? the host nation is taking on croatia all the while protesters clashed, rioting over the $11 billion brazil spent getting ready to host the tournament. brazilians are frustrated with fifa after the brazilian government included tax exemptions and constructing $300
million stadiums destined to become unkemped mausoleums some day. brazil and croatia are currently tied 1-1 at the half. tonight on cnn, the event that changed the course of american history, a new installment of "the sixties" tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific. that's it for "the lead." i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." >> jake, thank you very much. happening now, breaking news. marching on baghdad. a ruthless terror group holding an iraqi city vows to close in on iraq's capital. president obama says iraq needs help and he's not ruling anything out. will the u.s. have to go back in to iraq? humanitarian nightmare a. crisis on the u.s. border